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Forest slams council's "Big Brother" anti-smoking policy

Sun 2nd October, 2016

Forest has slammed Aberdeenshire Council's new smoke-free policy, to be introduced on Monday October 3, that prohibits smoking and the use of e-cigarettes on all council sites.

The group is particularly incensed by the suggestion that "Individuals are accountable for monitoring implementation of the policy on-site and must report anyone not complying."

Simon Clark, director of the smokers' group Forest, said: "Expecting members of staff to grass up their colleagues is the sort of thing you'd expect in a totalitarian state.

"What happens if staff refuse to report someone who isn't complying with the smoke-free rule? Will they be reported and disciplined too?

"Apart from the Big Brother enforcement policy, it's incredibly petty. Employees are entitled to work breaks and if some workers choose to smoke outside during their break it should be a matter for them not the council.

"This is prohibition by stealth. Ten years ago the Scottish Government told us the workplace smoking ban was to protect the health of bar workers. Now they're encouraging local authorities to ban smoking outside where there's no risk to anyone else's health.

"Banning the use of e-cigarettes on council sites demonstrates the policy has nothing to do with health. It's mainly about control.

"Many smokers are using e-cigarettes to help them quit smoking. Hardly any non-smokers are attracted to vaping so if the policy had anything to do with health the council would encourage not prohibit the use of e-cigarettes."

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